My plan was always to come to Australia, travel and write. For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be a writer and have written in my spare time. It wasn’t something I told many people about, but it has always been a part of who I am.
I set myself the goal of giving it a go when we settled in Sydney. I’ve been writing properly since April and since then I have been published in magazines and on websites, written about personal topics that I usually would have shied away from touching upon, interviewed countless inspiring people, been interviewed myself, received feedback that has filled my heart with happiness and watched my writing be shared by charities and celebrities so that it reaches a bigger audience than I ever thought possible. I have been offered publication for two books I have written four times, although none of the offers have been quite right for me to want to take. My writing has improved enormously. I have shown myself that I can turn my hobby into my career. I have gone for my goal.
But do you know something?
I’m scared because I’ve gone from having a full time wage to a part time one. I’ve gone from being surrounded by people all day to working alone at home. I’ve gone from saying what my profession is and it being understood to having to explain myself and fend of slightly inappropriate questions like ‘how much do you earn?’ and ‘isn’t that just a hobby?’
But most of all, I’m scared of failing. I’m scared because at the end of the year, what if nothing really has come from this? What if I never write a book that gets published? What if my writing will only ever allow me to earn a part time wage? What if, what if, what if?
If I’m honest, these thoughts have plagued my mind since the day I started writing ‘properly’. I have worried every day. I have felt like less of a person because I don’t have a ‘normal’ job. Every time I have been asked what books I have written, I have felt like my achievements were nothing because I didn’t have a book to wave in their face and ‘prove’ that I was a writer.
I want to stop this. I don’t want to feel this fear anymore, because why should I? I write every day. I am a writer.
Part of going for the thing you want the most in life is feeling the fear and doing it anyway. If you’re not at least a little bit scared of the thing you’re chasing then you’re not pursuing the right thing. Life should make you giddy and breathless. Your dreams should be both sickening and alluring. I wake up most days scared that I won’t make it – but I also wake up most days excited that I might.
At the end of the day, I can say I tried. I can say I went for my dream. And do you know what? I can say I’ve achieved it. I have been published, I have helped others with my writing, I have been paid to do what I love. I’ve written every day. I’ve been a writer.
The definition of ‘success’ these days is so narrow. Big houses, flash cars and a wardrobe to die for are the things that we look for, but there’s more to success than that. There’s fulfilment, happiness, pride.
Have I earned millions? No, but Jack and I live comfortably and can do everything we want to. Have I topped a best sellers list? No… but there’s still time. Has my writing helped other people? I have an album full of screenshots of messages that proves it has. Do I look myself in the eye every day and feel proud? Without question. And do you know something? That’s success in my eyes.